I saw my health and wellbeing support worker from Reed yesterday. And something she said amazed me.
She had a colleague sitting in with her and she turned to him and said, that she loves seeing me because my passion for life inspires her and uplifts her to such a degree, that she feels amazing for days afterwards. She said it’s like she suddenly starts seeing all the good in the world and she finds herself enjoying herself more.
I couldn’t believe it. I’ve only seen her twice!
And both times, to my mind, I was anything but passionate about life! I thought I was rude to her. Both times. This is usual for me when I’m first in these kinds of situations. It takes me a few weeks just to know if I’m warming to them or not. I thought her ideas were ridiculous and stupid and that she clearly didn’t know me! ~ I don’t take any notice of these thoughts, by the way, meaning after the event, I know they’re not true. They are pretty standard and as far as I knew, this was the attitude I was displaying ~ that I didn’t want to be there, I hated it and her and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
How the hell did we go from that, to her thinking I was inspirational!!!!!
Honestly, I’m baffled. When I think I’m being nice and friendly, like at the church last week, when after only a few moments of talking to the minister, she suddenly, and to my mind, totally randomly, exploded and said she was going to walk right out of the church, hand in her resignation, because I had just destroyed everything she had ever believed in!!! I had no idea what I had said. The only thing I could remember saying, was, why don’t you kill your self. But that wasn’t as harsh as it sounds, out of context, so I know it wasn’t that, that upset her. If she was upset. I couldn’t tell. She confused the hell out of me ♀️. I couldn’t really work out what was going on.
I wonder if everyone sees me as the opposite of what I think I am? That’s weird!
Was she being sarcastic? I find myself constantly asking if somebody is being sarcastic if I've said something and not got the response I expected. I have a real problem determining what is an honest reply and what is sarcasm.
Yeah, same for me! I used to think that I had a reasonable understanding of sarcasm and knowing when people are joking but since diagnosis, if my husband says something and I think he's being serious and start getting annoyed, he now tells me that he was just joking and I've realised how often I think someone is speaking honestly when actually they are just joking.
You just hit the nail on the head, 3 hours ago I had a major meltdown at my husband and my neighbour for what they say was 'only joking', I've been off work for a while due to a disciplinary, long story and both my OH and neighbour joked about me watching Netflix, if anybody knows me I am 'always doing....' working crafting cleaning visiting my mum.. I hit the roof... my OH and neighbour both said " oh we were only joking", they know what I am going through and seem to find something funny in it???? I just didn't and don't get it. what really gets me though is that phrase 'Only joking', really?
Yeah I often don't really get the point of other people's 'jokes' even if they are just jokes
It's times like this that remind me I don't think like NTs. I just don't get it when I'm having such an awful time and people try to make light of it? I think I have a good sense of humour but not right now, maybe others don't?
That’s the nature of autism. We’re so self obsessed it makes us kind of serious, most of the time, so we’re not as easy with jokes. Whereas as nt’s are not as self obsessed as us, no where near, so they enjoy life in the lighter lane and so they enjoy jokes and pulling each other’s legs etc. But we’re so rigid and self obsessed that if we’re having a hard time, we think the whole world should realise that and not joke in our presence. When we get more autism aware, we can begin to separate ourselves from others and not get upset because others aren’t all like us. It makes life a lot easier. But it takes time.
You've got me wondering now. I've never thought of myself as self obsessed. How would you actually know if you were self obsessed? I can understand some jokes quite easily and I can get sarcasm if it is someone I know well. I find it hard with people I'm not familiar with though. Even with people I know, even though I often pick up on it when it is sarcasm, I often wonder whether it was sarcasm when it probably wasn't. I often self doubt whether I was right. My biggest problem with jokes is language. If I find the language confusing then I'm not going to understand the joke. Sometimes I get it with a delay and sometimes it just has to be explained to me.
I wouldn’t worry about getting jokes or sarcasm or not. Nobody gets all the jokes they hear because jokes are rather personal anyway and they’re often in house jokes, meaning only a few could get them because they’re so personal. And sarcasm is a personal thing as well and not everybody uses it. In fact, it’s probably the case that more people don’t use sarcasm than those who do.
As for self obsession. If you’re autistic, you’re self obsessed. I’m not sure if it’s even possible to be autistic and not be self obsessed because it’s kind of the whole nature of autism.
For example, as with the situation above. A non autistic person, who isn’t self obsessed, wouldn’t have reacted to the husband and neighbour laughing, in the same way. They would most likely either get the joke and find it funny or get the joke and not find it funny or not get the joke but not be worried about that and at no point would they bring it all back to them. They would most likely just see two people having a joke and if they didn’t feel in a jokey mood they simply wouldn’t take much notice.
But because were autistic, we not only don’t get the joke (most of the time) but we bring it right back to us. For example, we can’t believe these people could do such a thing when they know ‘I’M’ upset!!!!!! It’s like ‘what the hell is wrong with these people, don’t they know I’m upset, can’t they see I’m having a hard time, why would somebody even make a joke about that, how could they do that, it’s not even true, I know they said it’s a joke but it’s simply NOT even true what they’re saying about me. I’m always doing things, I don’t even watch Netflix that often, not ever. Why do they even begin to think that telling lies about me, when I’m having such a hard time, could be remotely funny or made into a joke, etc etc etc??????
We bring it all back to us. Like we’re the centre of the universe and EVERYBODY should know that and respond accordingly. For example, if I’m having a hard time, then the whole world should respect that.
We would never think of ourselves as self obsessed. We would have to have it pointed out to us, because we’re so self obsessed and we think everyone sees the world like we do so it’s kind of impossible to see it unless it’s pointed out.
This is so accurate! You describe it perfectly
Thanks. I get the bit about expecting someone to realise your upset or what would bother you etc. I would definitely do that so in that way you are probably right. But I don't think that's my issue with jokes. It may be why I can over react to banter type jokes though. My lack of understanding over jokes is very much due to misunderstanding language/taking things literally etc.
I do try to think about other people too though. Especially within my job working with children. So isn't that the opposite of self obsessed. Can you be self obsessed and not self obsessed at the same time?
Of course. Our fundamental point of view, if you like, is one of self obsession. But not in the ordinary sense of the word. Meaning, just as you said, we can also be extremely thoughtful of other people’s needs etc, infact, we’re often over thoughtful of other people’s needs and feelings etc, and often to the detriment of our own wellbeing.
It’s not that we’re ‘selfish’ because in general, we’re definitely not. But our innate self obsession can cause us to misunderstand situations or comments etc. So definitely for me, anyway, it has been super helpful to recognise this quality of self obsession in me so I can use it for good and try to recognise when it’s playing a part in either me miss understanding others or visa versa.
It’s a terrific quality when we use it for the good. I’m not sure why! Lol! But I’m sure it is and I’m sure I’ll come up with reasons why it’s good, but just now, those reasons are not clear to me.
But it doesn’t mean we’re selfish, not by a long shot. We’re amongst the kindest, most loving people on the planet :)
This makes more sense to me. Thanks. I think when I first read self obsessed I just thought selfish.
Maybe just a very much needed survival mechanism
I think it’s just one of the ways in which our brains are wired up. It’s one of the differing factors that differentiates us from none autistic people. But it’s not a negative. It’s what gives us the ability to enjoy the sheer pleasure of our own company and why we can get so passionate about things.
I’ve just come back from the stationary shop and the cashier, who helped me with my purchase, it turns out, her twin sister is autistic. And two of her nephews. When I started to talk about how amazing we are, she said, you’re right. She said she went to see her little nephew the other day, and he told her something like 73 facts about hamsters and he told her all about them. She said, before he started, she had no interest in hamsters whatsoever, but by the time he had finished, she said she loved them!
This is one of the amazing things about our self obsession. We can get stuck into really interesting things, that others pass by, but our passion for them, brings others in.
I’ve also signed this girl up for a mission I haven’t yet started! Although it seems I have now She said they have an employee who’s autistic and he’s amazing. She said he’s the best seller and best employee in the store! She’s so excited about autism now and I was able to answer some question she had regarding her sister. Prior to our conversation she had been worried about what would happen to her sister if she was ever not here, and now, she’s just the opposite. She’s excited for her, and our mission that I haven’t properly put together yet.